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On the Agenda: January 23 - 27, 2012

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A graphic that reads "On the Agenda."
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January 23, 2012

President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night is this week’s big event. Hopefully we’ll hear him address civil liberties issues.

Also this week, the Senate may introduce cybersecurity legislation that could affect all Americans’ First and Fourth Amendment rights online. This could include an Internet “kill switch,” which would give the president undefined authority to cut off or limit access to the Internet in case of national security threat or emergency, and more information sharing between private companies and the government.

Monday, January 23

On Monday, several nationally renowned forensic pathologists will file a friend-of-the-court brief in the Mississippi Supreme Court on behalf of ACLU client and death row inmate Leslie Galloway, supporting our claim that Galloway’s crime was rendered eligible for the death penalty based solely on scientifically invalid testimony by the prosecution’s expert.

Tuesday, January 24

Criminal Justice: The House Judiciary Committee will begin marking up H.R. 3796, the Adam Walsh Reauthorization Act, in order to provide funding for the sex offender registry, which was established under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.

Wednesday, January 25

LGBT Rights: Wednesday is National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. As part of National GSA Day, the ACLU will be promoting advocacy in support of the Student Non-Discrimination Act (S. 555) on Facebook and Twitter.

National Security: The House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations and Management will hold a hearing titled “Is DHS [Department of Homeland Security] Effectively Implementing a Strategy to Counter Emerging Threats?”

Racial Justice: The American Enterprise Institute will hold a panel discussion titled “The Muslim-American Muddle: Where Do Muslims Fit in American Society?”

Thursday, January 26

Women’s Rights: The Senate Committee on the Judiciary may hold a markup of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011 (S. 1925) on January 26 at 10 a.m.

National Security: The Brookings Institution will hold an event titled “The Future of the National Security Industrial Base,” at which Representative Mac Thornberry will speak.

Friday, January 27

Women’s Rights: In one of the first nationwide class action sex discrimination cases to be decided following the Supreme Court’s decision last June in Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit will hear oral arguments on Friday in Davis v. Cintas, a case concerning sex discrimination in hiring. The case involves a system for hiring sales workers that the plaintiffs allege is subjective and standardless, and that the plaintiffs claim discriminates against women applicants. The court will decide whether a class can properly be certified. The case could significantly affect women’s ability to address broad patterns of discrimination in the workplace. The ACLU co-authored an amicus brief with the ACLU of Michigan and the Impact Fund.

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